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Bumblebees navigate new turf without a map

The insects can quickly calculate the best route between flowers

By
1:25pm, September 20, 2012

Bumblebees are anything but bumbling: The insects quickly figure out the optimal route for visiting five far-flung flowers, a computational task that even human brains find challenging.

That result suggests that an elaborate mental map isn’t necessary to travel efficiently in unknown territory. Finding a way to mimic the bumblebee’s navigation system may allow programmers to develop  robots that adeptly maneuver through unfamiliar places.

The new study, published online September 20 in PLOS Biology, pulls together several lines of previous res

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